Decoding 3 standard wedding dress codes


    Now that we are officially in the depths of spring, not only does that mean spring showers and menacing allergies, but it also means it's time for special occasions like weddings and graduations. 'Tis the season for family and friends tying the knot. As you make your way through the save the dates on your refrigerator, you may realize you will need different outfits for each one. Enter: the wedding dress code.

    As a stylist and fashion-enthusiast I have come to realize that knowing what to wear to an event is something that comes very naturally to me. I also know the same can't be said for everyone, so I am here to give you some suggestions for the most common wedding dress codes.

    Dress Code: Casual

    For some, this can be tricky. Casual dress for a wedding isn't the same as casual dress in real life. It doesn't mean it's OK to wear jeans and a T-shirt. Unless, of course, the bride and groom have a specific theme to which that may apply. But to be on the safe side, don't go that route; after all, it is a special occasion. Think more along the lines of how you would dress for a casual first date. Your attire won't be super dressy; it will be more relaxed, but you will still put some effort into it. Guys can wear a button down shirt or a polo with slacks and ladies can wear a simple dress or a top and skirt.

    Dress Code: Cocktail

    Cocktail dress codes mean semi-formal. For women, wearing a knee-length cocktail dress is suitable. I would say keep details like beading to a minimum since we're not going all out with this dress code. You can choose to add some flair with accessories, such as shoes and a handbag. For men, I suggest wearing a dark suit with a tie. A tie isn't necessarily required but it's a nice distinction to convey a dressier occasion.

    Dress Code: Formal

    People tend to struggle with this one as far as the difference between formal and black tie. Formal is not as specific, whereas black tie is a very specific type of dress. With formal ladies can do a cocktail dress or a long dress; both would suffice. Men should wear a suit, preferably a dark-colored suit. This is an occasion where I would say to definitely wear a tie with your suit since it is a formal dress code. Nowadays it helps to think of a formal dress code as upscale, trendy clothing.

    Dress Code: Black Tie

    This means that formal attire is required. Most likely the start time will be after 6 p.m. Ladies can wear a full-length gown with fabulous jewelry and accessories. This is the time to go all out! With black tie dress you can think of getting dressed up as if you were attending the Oscars. Men should wear tuxedos or a white jacket with black dress pants if it's a summer wedding. Now, sometimes the invitation will say "black tie optional" which leaves it up to you, the guest, to decide if you would like to wear a full-length evening gown or a tuxedo. Be sure to pay attention to see if that "optional" word is there, because if it is not then that means black tie dress is in fact required.

    Hopefully this takes away some of the confusion that can arise when you're planning what to wear to weddings this season!Read more at: |